It’s never long after a legend dies that the requisite tributes come pouring in. These homages are especially prompt given that the passing occurs at the end of the annum, when all attention is already on the first days (and releases) of the new year. On December 17, Don Van Vliet, a.k.a. music great Captain Beefheart, succumbed to multiple sclerosis. Jack White, either because of a preexisting love of the Captain (most likely), or because he realizes how similar they might look if he grew a mustache (doubtful), has announced that part of his Third Man Records’ 2011 First Quarter Vault package will be a 7-inch of The White Stripes covering Captain Beefheart. The three tracks — “Party of Special Things to Do”, “China Pig”, and “Ashtray Heart” — were originally recorded in 2001 as part of the Sub Pop Singles Club, and so it’s only fitting to reintroduce them in honor not only of Vliet, but of Andy Kotowicz, the executive at Sub Pop who was killed in a car accident this October.
The First Quarter package also includes a compilation of Third Man Records’ 2010 singles (a double album on 180 gram vinyl) and a 7-inch of The 18.104.22.168.s (with Jack White on guitar). Members of the Vault must go platinum by January 31 in order to receive the package, which will hopefully give Jack White enough time to throw a few covers of Teena Marie in the deal for good measure.
• Third Man Records: http://www.thirdmanrecords.com